15 great things to do in Mauritius

Before recently traveling to Mauritius for the first time I always assumed it was just one of those incredibly beautiful island destinations that didn’t really have much to offer apart from luxury hotels and some water activities. However, having spent 3 weeks on the island I had to quickly realise that I couldn’t have been more wrong – there is so much to do at this Indian Ocean nation! Buckle up and sit tight as you read through 15 of my favorite experiences to have on the island.

1. Get spoiled at a luxury hotel

Don’t even think about coming to Mauritius with a hostel budget – there simply are too many incredible luxury options around to miss out on them. Finding one that works for you is key and various factors come together to make the choice that fits. I can recommend the Beachcomber resorts, a luxury hotel brand originally from Mauritius, that has not one or two but 8 resorts on the island, all of which seek to excel.

 

The service here is second to none and the online ratings confirm this. I stayed in both the Dinarobin Beachcomber and the next door Paradis Beachcomber resort and have thoroughly enjoyed my stay in both. Special perk: guests of one are more than welcome to use the other as well, its pools, beach and restaurants and every 15 minutes a shuttle buggy ensures guests can easily commute between them.

What really stood out to me here was the ever smiling staff which all seemed to enjoy their work and truly serve the common purpose of providing guests with a great holiday experience. Although we got a bit unlucky with a steady 4 days of rain someone was always around to make sure my son and I were comfortable and happy and eating well!

There are kids clubs at each of the two resorts which take care of kids from 9am to late evening and even providing them with lunch and dinner. There were daily changing activities on program for them, arts and crafts, sports, dancing and many adventures to go on together. I will say that most if not all of the kids there spoke French which can make it difficult for a kid that doesn’t but staff usually speaks English as well.

2. Diving 

If you have a permission to dive, this is the place to do it. Or to learn it, if you still need to get certified. I have done many dives in many countries around the globe and I vote this one my favorite. That’s right, even before the Maldives, Thailand and Australia. It was essentially like the world in Nemo had come to life and I had so much fun witnessing it all.

3. A day in Port Louis

Port Louis is the capital of Mauritius and a great starting point if you wish to discover the local side of things. It’s so easy to just staying at your resort throughout your stay and never get a glimpse into what Mauritius is like for those who come from there. Although many locals would argue that Port Louis is nothing but traffic and stress, I still think it is fascinating just to see how very diverse the population is because there are no native inhabitants to the island. One will notice a lot of Indian dresses and many religions live peacefully side by side. Creole is considered the main local language but virtually everyone speaks fluent French and many also have a good command of English.

4. Flacq Market

Speaking of local life, I loved our visit to the Sunday market in Flacq. It was easily one of the best local markets I had ever been to and it simply was buzzing with life. This is the place to come for epic souvenirs in the shape of these stunning €1 shopping bags or to snack your way through local goodies. Come here and stay at least 2 hours to really immerse yourself in it.

5. Cooking Class 

Mauritian cuisine is nothing to be sniffed at, given that it’s just as diverse at the population and naturally  mirror thereof. Joining a cooking class is a great way of entering that culture and most cooking classes will teach you how to cook a fish curry. In my case I had an EPIC cooking class experience at the Paradis Beachcomber resort with the head chef of their restaurant La Ravanne specialising in local cuisine. Both the curry we made during the class and the full 3-course meal I had for dinner were among the best things I ate during my time on the island.

6. A trip to Île aux Cerfs

Île aux Cerfs was the first day trip we did, because I kept reading about how this was one of the main things to do on the island (or off it, to be exact). Truth be told, it wasn’t so much the island itself that was lovely, it was the entire experience of spending the day on a catamaran, eating BBQ on it, seeing a little waterfall and going for a snorkel in the ocean that made this adventure so enjoyable. There are cheaper and less eventful ways of getting to Île aux Cerfs, but I highly recommend you go for the whole package.

7 . Sports

Something I kept noticing throughout my 3 weeks was the wealth of sports and outdoor activities on offer and many guests take to them. Golf gets a special mention here, especially the Beachcomber resorts boast impressive golf courses that have found much acclaim with the international golf community. I mean, even the kids club here has its very own mini golf course!

Whether you’re already a pro or just starting out with your golfer career, Beachcomber resorts will be your ideal place to start. If the idea of golf does not entice you there is always parasailing, tennis, stand-up paddling, sailing, volleyball, gym classes and much, much more….

8.  7 Colored Earth in Chamarel

Do you love seeing unique bits of nature? At 7-colored earth you get exactly that. Don’t make my mistake and come here during the pouring rain or else you might miss out on an opportunity to go for an extended walk around the area and take in the full beauty of this unusual bit of land. It’s not just the colors that make it special, it’s also the unusual shape.

9. Spa

Alongside the Maldives Mauritius really has some of the best spa’s I’ve seen on my many travels around the globe. If you appreciate the old massage, make sure you get one here, you will not regret it. The spa at Dinarobin Beachcomber was my favorite out of the bunch. It features some beautiful Indian-inspired architecture, an amazing choice for scented oils and a massage technique I really enjoyed.

10. Rent a bike and explore

One of my favorite activities in any new place I visit, you’ll be pleased to find that most hotels in Mauritius offer bike rental, either free of charge or at very reasonable rates. Hopping on one and exploring the neighborhood is always worth it and an amazing way to discover little treasures and special locations.

11. Visit the northern islands

Truth be told, I had to sit this one out, which I regret deeply since so many people came to tell me that this was a must-do activity. There are various smaller islands in the North of Mauritius like Gabriel or Flat island and if you have a browse of the internet you will soon find all day tour operators that will have you lounge away the day on a catamaran drinking all inclusive drinks and eating all inclusive barbecue as you journey to the cleanest beach sand and the most turquoise water you’ve ever seen. Sounds good?

12. Visit Black River Gorges Nature Park

Do you like waterfalls? Then you’re in for a treat when you go to see the one at Black River Gorges Nature Park. We went there in the midst of a rainy few days which meant that the waterfall was even more impressive and beautiful as usual. I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of waterfalls but this one felt special. probably my favorite to date. The Nature Park also lends itself to some awesome hikes or even just walks and I highly recommend you back your walking shoes for this one (I came in woven leather brogues, ugh).

13. Ziplining

Move aside Costa Rica, Mauritius has some of the best ziplining in the world and you’ll find plenty of opportunity to try your hands on it. There is a great option for young children at Ile aux Cerfs and from 6 kids and adults will love the ones at Casela, 7-Colored Earth or Chazal.

14. Try local street food

Mauritians are proud of their street food and rightfully so. After all it is made from an eclectic mix of Asian, African and European influence. Dhal Puri is your go to, which can be found at many snack stops on the street but still the best variety of street food can be found on a market with Port Louis and Flacq being the best ones. Also try Alouda, a delicious cold drink made of milk, condensed milk and a type of sago pearls – a real treat on a hot day.

15. Climb a mountain

Mauritius is home to a range of mountain ranges, cliffs and waterfalls which are a direct product of its volcanic origin. You’ll be pleased to read that all volcanoes are dormant and offer an excellent opportunity to climb a mountain or two. After all, the views will be 100% worth it. One of the most popular mountains is Le Morne Brabant in the South, which as of 2008 is a part of UNESCO World Heritage. You can climb the mountain yourself or you can go up with a guide which is generally recommended. Especially during winter the temperatures for hiking might be ideal but the weather can change within minutes and you may not want to be stuck on a mountain during pouring rain. Le Morne is also the spectacular backdrop for Dinarobin and Paradis Beachcomber resort and both resorts will be more than happy to advise you on the best time for a hike. 

Can you still fit a few more things on your bucket-list? Mauritius is waiting….

 

Disclaimer: I was kindly invited by Dinarobin and Paradis Beachcomber Resorts to 2 complimentary nights respectively. I also enjoyed some amazing support by the Mauritius Tourism which I am deeply grateful for. All opinions naturally are my own.

 

 

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